Rob Black's Financial Stock Report

Includes: AEA, CSH, FCFS, NFI, WFC
by: Rob Black

CIBC upgrades Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) to Sector Outperform with a $42 target. The upgrade was based on compelling relative historical valuation and the $8 billion war chest of excess capital atop which the company is currently sitting. The firm believes this will be used to do a deal, buy back shares, or raise the dividend near term.

Deutsche Bank downgrades NovaStar Financial (NFI) Hold from Buy and lowers their target to $8 from $29. The downgrade is based on disappointing results and guidance of little to no taxable income from 2007-2011.

The country’s largest payday lenders are putting regulations on themselves after nearly every state considers laws to regulate the industry. Payday lenders, including Advance America (NYSE:AEA), Cash America (NYSE:CSH), Cash Advance and First Cash Financial (NASDAQ:FCFS), offer short-term loans with interest rates as high as 390%. These loans are big business for the firms. But the government increasingly sees this practice as taking advantage of the poor. Thirteen states already ban payday lending and over 50 bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year. Now the lenders say they will limit advertising and allow increased repayment plans.